Please follow our updates and social media, get to know our scientists, and learn about this fascinating deep-sea volcanic system!

Thanks for joining us, the Axial3D Team!

Meet The Team

Chief Scientist, U. Texas Ins. Geophys., USA 
I am a research associate working at the Institute for Geophysics, at the University of Texas at Austin with expertise and research interests spanning the fields of marine geophysics, Earth sciences, signal processing, data inversion and high-performance computing. My research try to address geoscientific problems with the acquisition of new seismic surveys and/or reprocessing of existing surveys, such as: the internal workings of volcanoes, earthquake hazards from megathrust faults which lie offshore, or the stability of continental margins where methane ice can break down with increasing ocean temperatures.To date, I have already been part of four sea-going expeditions. As for the AXIAL3D survey it is my first expedition as a chief scientist and my first three-dimensional seismic experiment. I am accompanied by Alistair and Steffen, two senior scientists with a lot of field experience, the experimented technical and marine crew from the M. Langseth and a very talented squad of students from all over the world. Alistair, Graham and myself have been studying Axial Seamount for quite some time now and we are excited to see how the more complete data coverage offered by 3-D seismic data can improve our understanding of magmatic, tectonic and hydrothermal processes occurring within this large seafloor volcano. The presence of the OOI seafloor observatory on top of Axial Seamount has also attracted a wide range of scientists interested in Volcanology and I am looking forward to discuss our latest findings with them and to benefit from their inputs. Marine geophysics is a wonderful field at the frontier of physics, mathematics, Earth and computer sciences. It involves a field or sea-going component, where one can travel to some of the most remote places of our planet, and also offers numerous technological challenges; from data acquisition 100s of miles offshore to the optimization of algorithms on some of the most powerful supercomputers. As many of my colleagues onboard, I like to keep myself fit and active. I enjoy rowing, cycling, running, skiing, climbing and will enjoy a pit-stop at a local coffee shop, restaurants and pub from time to time. 

Co-PI / On-shore liaison, U. Nevada, Reno, USA
I am research faculty based out of Reno, Nevada. I completed my PhD in 2014 and I have since worked on research and outreach at the Nevada Seismological Laboratory located on the University of Nevada campus. My research focuses on marine seismic imaging of active fault systems. My projects are typically based in lake environments and not in the ocean, though the technologies are similar. I have sailed on the R/V Langesth before! Though I am one of the PIs of this study, I am also a mother to 2 young children. Being a mother and a researcher has its challenges. Though it was a decision I grappled with, I made the decision to not go out to sea and to rather be land-based support. This is a very exciting project! The imagery will be one of the most comprehensive studies of an active volcano. The data collected here can then be applied to other areas to enhance our knowledge of systems around the world. The reason I love marine seismic imagery is simple, it is where geology and geophysics meet. The data let us know intricate details about the geology in places we could never go to physically.

Co-PI, Scripps. Ins. Ocean., USA
I am a research geophysicist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, which is a part of the University of California, San Diego. I specialize in marine seismology, studying the mid-ocean ridges and the structure of the oceanic crust has been a part of my research since arriving at Scripps after my PhD in 1985. I took part in an earlier 2D seismic survey of this area in 2002, so this experiment is a chance to study the magma system we found then in much greater detail, and to perhaps discover what has changed after the intervening pair of eruptions. Even though I have been to sea many times, this is my first sailing on the R/V Marcus G. Langseth and the first time doing a multiple streamer experiment on this scale. Adrien and I have worked together on Axial seamount for some time and it will be exciting to find out how we did with our previous interpretations of the magma chamber. When I first heard about exploration seismology as a mathematics undergraduate, I thought "how can that possibly work and give anything useful?", so it became instantly interesting. I'm still amazed how much you can learn from a combination of careful measurement, mathematics, and insight. I am a runner and orienteer and, when younger, used to feel my fitness seep away with each day on board ship. Now I still try to exercise on board, but the fitness loss is barely noticeable. I am big podcast listener. The internet at sea is too slow to download new episodes, but I stocked up before sailing and am hoping to eke them out of the trip.

Research Scientist, U. Texas Ins. Geophys., USA
I’m a Research Scientist Associate at the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics in Austin, Texas. I work in multichannel seismic acquisition, processing, and interpretation. I spend a lot of time in the field, much of it on ships. I also TA a field course in marine geology and geophysics each May. This is my first time to use two seismic sources in flip-flop mode. It’s also my first time to sail with so many people from France. I’m excited to try to image an undersea volcanic magma chamber in three dimensions. This is a really challenging environment for seismic imaging, but already our preliminary results show success. I love that the geosciences involve so many of the other sciences all rolled into one field – I get to touch on chemistry, physics, biology, mathematics, astronomy, geography, and oceanography on a nearly daily basis. I love nature and I love history, which are what geology is all about. I love being in the field. I love forming a working team out of a group of skilled and talented strangers with a common goal. I love that geology is all around us. I love that I get to work with very smart and capable people, both in the office and in the field. I love travel, new places, new cultures, weird foods and strange money. I love boats and being on the ocean. I love working with cutting edge instruments and technologies. I love the feeling that I’m involved in important work. I love teaching. I love that what we do is not easy. I love that the people I work with – both the scientists and the non-scientists (deckhands, cooks, engineers, technicians, computer jockeys, admins, sailors) -- are all adventurers with a laugh and a story to tell. My hobbies are music, sailing, fly fishing, dancing, cooking, and most recently painting. I’m lucky enough to have seen a lot of the world, including trips to both the Arctic and Antarctic.  I’m passably good with Spanish, and Patagonia is one of my favorite parts of the world. I sort of fell into geophysics after I took my first introductory geology course as an elective, I had been a computer science major before that. Geology just plain made sense to me.

M.S. Student, U. Bretagne Occidentale, France
I’m French and I am a graduated student in Geosciences. I have done my master’s degree at the Universit√© de Bretagne Occidentale, in Brest, where I specialized in sedimentary geochemistry. I study the mechanisms of exceptional preservation in Paleozoic sediments and I enjoy it a lot. This expedition is my very first time at sea and I am very excited about discovering the life on board; how daily life is organized and how everyone, with different skills, can participate in the advancement of the mission. I find the sea so fascinating because it will always remain mysterious for the human kind. It is often said that we know the surface of the moon better than the bottom of the oceans. Aside from geology, I love reading, practicing rugby and sewing.

Ph.D. Student, IUEM-Ifremer & OGS., France / Italy
I am a PhD student at IUEM-Ifremer (Brest, France) and OGS (Trieste, Italy) in a jointly supervised PhD program in which I will receive two diplomas at the end. My project concerns salt tectonics in passive margins. We are focusing on different areas (such as South Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and Western Mediterranean Sea) in order to correlate salt morphologies deformation with the crustal structure of the margins. Different natures of the crust, with their different thermal fields, could influence salt tectonics on a regional scale. This is my second time at sea. The first time was about a year ago aboard the R/V Atalante (Ifremer - France) in the Western Mediterranean Sea. During three weeks in WestmedFlux2 survey, we collected over 60 new heat flow measurements and chirp, magnetometry and gravity data. However, each time is different and unique. I am most excited to learn about 3D seismic, of course! I am so excited to discover how they deploy 4 streamers keeping a constant distance between them and how the crew handles all the equipment from the lab. Moreover, I am curious about the relationship among people in a ship after 5 weeks of navigation. It will be amazing! I have always been fascinated by the study of geological structures buried by hundreds of meters of water in the remotes seas of the world. Everything starts and ends in the oceans and studying their past evolution is fundamental to understanding their future. I was born in a small region in the Italian Alps (Aosta Valley, amazing place!). After my Geology degree I moved, attracted by the sea, reaching first Trieste and then Brest. And now I am in middle of nowhere, dreaming about another scientific mission, survey or adventure.

Ph.D. Student, LDEO / Columbia U., USA
I’m currently a PhD student at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory / Columbia University in Marine Geology and Geophysics advised by Dr. Suzanne Carbotte and Dr. Maya Tolstoy. My area of research is Marine Seismology. My current research focuses on using multichannel seismic data to image and characterize melt lenses beneath the rift zones of Axial Seamount. Even though I work with multichannel seismic data, I have never collected the data on a cruise! So this will be a first time for me! This will also be the first time I’m spending more than 20 days on a cruise. I am most excited to learn about how to collect MCS data and to be able to see it being done on board. I am also excited to learn more about Axial. I got into Marine Geophysics as an undergraduate at the University of Washington when I started working in a Marine Geophysics lab looking at methane plumes on the seafloor. I really enjoy learning about the seafloor because it encompasses so many unique and fascinating aspects yet most people don’t even know it exists. A fun fact about myself is that I can speak 4 languages. I can speak three dialects of Chinese fluently and can speak Japanese and Korean to some degree. Another thing about myself is that I love to swim and have been a swimmer since I was 3 yrs old, joining a swim team when I was around 10 years old. My main strokes are freestyle and butterfly.

Ph.D. Student, Scripps Ins. Ocean., USA
I am a PhD student at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in sunny San Diego, California, USA. I began this adventure in the small town of Levelland, Texas at South Plains College. I’m a rock hunter at heart. I apply geochemical and isotopic systematics to interpret tectonic processes. My broad focus is concerned with the evolution of the western North American margin. My research sites are the Sierra Nevada mountain range and associated Walker Lane/Eastern California Shear Zone, the California Coast Range Ophiolite, and I have recently submitted a manuscript discussing isotopic, geochemical, and tectonic evidence of continental lithosphere formation from oceanic lithosphere parent beneath the Ferrel Seamount off the coast of Baja California, Mexico. This is my 3rd scientific research cruise (R/V Tommy Thompson, R/V Sally Ride), first 3d seismic cruise, first time collecting and processing 3D seismic data, first time to sail Puget Sound and JdF Straight. I enjoy tinkering with almost any kind of equipment or gear, so I look forward to getting some “hands on” time with a large 3D array. It’s always fun to collect data and assemble it to tell a story or paint a picture, so as the trip progresses I look forward piecing together the data set and seeing how it develops. It provides the opportunity for me to go places I may never have had the chance (or inclination) to visit, such as the Canary Islands. More often than not my travels take me well off the beaten path, away from major population/tourist centers, to enclaves that most people don’t know exist. To top it off, I get to go to sea. To many people, spending weeks on a boat sounds insane. Maybe so, but I’ll ask this: Do you know what color blue the ocean is 500 km from shore? Have you ever seen a full moon rise over a dead calm sea? How about a star lit sky on a moonless night, hundreds of miles from the nearest street light? That’s why I keep coming back, and that’s why I love geoscience. I’m a USMC veteran, served in Iraq, and started and operated a residential remodeling business in Texas before starting undergraduate studies and moving on to a PhD program.

B.S. Student, U. Regina, Canada
I am currently a Bachelors student at the University of Regina in Canada. My area of research prior to this summer was primarily structural geology. In June, I started marine research for the University of Ottawa focusing on the Eissen spreading centre and other areas were subduction intersects back arc spreading with a large focus on bonninite production. This is my first time on an at-sea expedition! I am most excited to experience life at sea, to learn how field work is conducted in the ocean and I also hope to see some wildlife. I love geosciences because it’s such a young field; I love that there is so much unknown and that I get to play a role in answering those questions. I am a dual-sport athlete; I play curling and softball for my university.

M.S. Student, East Carolina U., USA
I am currently finishing up my M.S. in geological sciences and am primarily a structural geologist and my research is focused on the emplacement of upper crustal igneous intrusions (i.e. How they are constructed? How do they accommodate themselves during emplacement? How are surrounding host rocks deformed? Etc.). There are many firsts for me on this expedition. This is my first research cruise, first time at sea, and first time collecting seismic imagery. Not only am I excited to learn how to collect and process seismic data, I am also excited to learn what life is like aboard a research vessel. The geosciences are very humbling. Currently we are a (relatively) tiny vessel surrounded by nothing but sea. I think this is what makes me love what I do. I am originally from Minnesota, so I love everything involving winter. I enjoy cross-country skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiles, etc.

M.S. Student, U. Bretagne Occidentale, France
I am a graduate from a Master in Marine Geosciences in Brest. My research is in paleoclimatology and sedimentology. This is my first time on a cruise ship. I have never been on a cruise ship, only on sailing boats for hobbies. I am excited to: discover the life and rhythm on a scientific cruise ship, learn how to process seismic data, see the seismic equipment deployment, and to meet whales! I love that we can explore the most unknown domain on earth. I live in Brest (the best and most-western French city!). I also love hiking, sailing and biking.

M.S. / PhD Student, Carleton U., Canada
I have just finished my Masters, and will be starting Phd this Fall. I'm based in Ottawa, Canada with Carleton University and the Geological Survey of Canada. My area of research is Geophysics: The combination of physics, going outside and treasure hunting I guess make it the most fun activity. I'm particularly interested in geophysical characterization of groundwater. This is my first time being this far away from shore. I'm quite excited to learn about the surveying equipment: What the source and streamers are like; how they are attached / deployed. Then I'm also excited to see some 3D processing. To elaborate on my research interest, I really like when mathematics describes nature and the understanding that comes with it. This is true for most scientific disciplines, but what makes marine/geoscience special is the scale of the subject. The subject (be it the ocean or geology) is on tangible scales we experience and see in the everyday. Whereas subjects like quantum physics / astrophysics are either too small or too far away. I am an excellent multi-tasker; I rarely watch a movie without sleeping.

M.S. Student, Mines Paris Tech, France
I am doing my Master's in Science and Executive Engineering at Mines Paris Tech, a French school. My courses includes physics, mathematics and even social sciences. I chose to follow the Geoscience program that focus among others on soil resources, energy supply and natural hazards. The latter particularly interested me as well as the geophysics course. In September, I will start a 6-month internship doing seismic data analysis of the Merapi volcano in Indonesia. This expedition is my first scientific mission abroad, my first time in the United States, and my first seismic cruise! However, not my first time at sea, I really love being on a boat, feeling the wind on my face and looking at the sea. I particularly enjoy sailing and jump at any chance to be out at sea! So far, I have only had theoretical courses in geophysics, I'm here to discover how it works in real life! I want to assist the deployment of OBS, to see the devices recording signals and learn how to process data. I'm very excited to be here with people more experienced than I am or specialized in a field I don't know. My wish is is to talk with all of them and to learn new things about Geosciences I didn't learn in class. I love geosciences for two reasons. First, I'm fascinated by all these phenomena that one could hardly handle. How is a mountain formed? How does a volcano work? How do tsunamis propagate? Such power in the nature that we can barely understand! Moreover, I feel better when I am outside and not stuck in an office or in front of a computer. I love climbing mountains, walking in the forest, being at sea... I really like breathing fresh air, that's why geoscience is a field I particularly appreciate.Australia is my favourite country: I love the atmosphere and its beautiful landscapes from red centre to the Great Barrier Reef. Moreover, I really love cooking and I'm quite gourmand, I have even baked cookies, biscuits and pancakes on a small sailing boat!

Outreach Co-ordinator, U. Bristol, UK
I am a volcanologist and science communicator currently based out of the UK. I finished my PhD in Geology and Geophysics last year from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa where I specialized in deep-sea volcanology. I study a range of topics within volcanology. My PhD research focused on understanding the dynamics of large, deep sea explosive eruptions. I have been recently involved in several 3D seismic studies of volcanoes, including this expedition. Outside of volcanology, my research interests have expanded into aspects of oceanography: deep sea carbon storage, hydrothermal systems and ore deposits around volcanic centers. I have done research at sea before, but this is my first time collecting and processing seismic reflection data using a research vessel. It is also my first time managing a full outreach and social media program through all stages of development, and I am loving every minute of it! I am excited to discover how the internal magma storage regions are connected, and how this could be used to predict future eruptions at Axial Volcano. Aside from our scientific aspirations, I am looking forward to using this opportunity to practice and implement many methods of active science communication whilst at sea. The oceans remain one of the least-well mapped and explored regions of our solar system, and every ocean expedition discovers something new. Ocean research presents some significant challenges, but this makes the discoveries (even the small ones) all the more worthwhile! Outside of ‘volcanoing’ and ‘scicomming’, I like to keep myself fit and active. I have a love for skiing, bouldering and cycling, and am a performer and trained musician.

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